Ready to Start

On the first day of Oilers training camp, coach Dave Tippett’s published lines had Tyler Benson listed as No. 5 on the depth chart on left wing. That’s a fair distance from an NHL game in the upcoming playoffs for Benson. He would need luck and more luck and that’s a bit much to ask in one playoff summer. Benson has no control on the events that might lead him to find his way into the lineup but does have an opportunity to show the coaching staff what makes him useful.

A strong showing in camp this summer may give him some momentum in for 2020-21 training camp in the fall. Same applies for Evan Bouchard, William Lagesson and, to a lesser extent, Ryan McLeod.

THE ATHLETIC!

Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. I am proud to be part of The Athletic. Here are the most recent Oilers stories.

CERTAIN OILERS (20)

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Connor McDavid—Zack Kassian
  • Andreas Athanasiou—Leon Draisaitl—Kailer Yamamoto
  • Tyler Ennis—Riley Sheahan—Josh Archibald
  • James Neal—Jujhar Khaira—Alex Chiasson
  • Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson
  • Darnell Nurse—Ethan Bear
  • Kris Russell—Matt Benning
  • Mike Smith (Mikko Koskinen)

This isn’t a normal training camp and the roster spots have mostly been spoken for at this time. The real intrigue comes in pecking order among the non-starters. The names above, 20 in total, could easily be the opening night lineup.

UNCERTAIN OILERS (5)

  • Joakim Nygard—Gaetan Haas—Patrick Russell
  • Caleb Jones—William Lagesson

I think these men land on the final roster and some will play. Not certain Russell and Lagesson get into action. Caleb Jones not being available for the opening of camp may signal Russell gets the starting nod on the third pairing but I still like Jones to win the job if he’s able.

DISTANT BELLS (8)

  • Tyler Benson—Cooper Marody—Ryan McLeod
  • Philip Broberg—Evan Bouchard
  • Stuart Skinner (Dylan Wells) (Olivier Rodrigue)

I mentioned Benson needing to breaks, one that gets Nygard into the lineup and a second that allows another opening. From this group, Bouchard is likely in the strongest position to actually get into games. One item we can discuss now, as Bouchard is fairly close, is ideal partners and lines for the 2020-21 rookies.

PERFECT FIT

I think Tyler Benson’s ideal spot is on a line with a fast center who brings some skill and forechecking ability, a Gaetan Haas or (eventually) Ryan McLeod. Benson’s a great passer, so it would help if both of his linemates delivered handsome shot volume. Fun Fact: In just three minutes of five on five play with Leon Draisaitl, Benson’s on ice shot differential was 5-0 and the Oilers scored. I don’t expect him to play in a feature role in the playoffs or even next season, but grabbing an NHL job by the end of 2020-21 is important for Benson.

Evan Bouchard is a young puck mover with exceptional passing ability and vision, but his apprenticeship defensively will involve growing pains in the NHL. Ideally you would run him with Adam Larsson but they’re both righties. Oscar Klefbom would be fab but he’s higher up the order as is Darnell Nurse. Caleb Jones is the likely partner on a very young third pairing 2020-21. I think Klefbom is the ideal match, not because of shutdown ability but rather because the duo would be so good with the puck playing defense would hopefully involve less defensive work than a normal pairing would endure.

William Lagesson would do well (I believe) on a third pair with Matt Benning. He played quite a lot during his NHL audition with Benning (35 minutes, 21-22 shots) and Adam Larsson (25 minutes, 10-14 shots) as well as Mike Green (20 minutes, 5-9 shots).

Ryan McLeod belongs on a line with a pair of veterans who can win board battles and play a good two-way game. On the current roster, based on shot differential relative to teammates, Joakim Nygard and Gaetan Haas would be ideal. Visually, I imagined James Neal and Alex Chiasson as ideal solutions. Math is often the wiser course.

PIUS SUTER

My annual ranking of NHL draft-eligible prospects often turns up valuable talent that emerges years later. You may recall I have Andrew Mangiapane at No. 52 for the 2014 draft. No massive credit there, Mangiapane has certainly covered the kind of bet I suggested in 2014. One minor item: Mangiapane was drafted in 2015! In Round Six!

In 2015, I ranked Pius Suter No. 120 but he fell through the draft. There is now interest in this player, Scott Powers writing about Chicago’s interest in The Athletic today.

As we approach each draft day there’s always a push back on my list that involves lack of scouting. I’ve never said ignore scouts, hell hire more and pay them better. Arm the scouts with knowledge, the knowledge that informs them about the math of the draft. Here’s an article I wrote in June 2015 on the subject.

Last spring’s Lowetide final top 120 had a young man named Andrew Mangiapane on it and he wasn’t drafted by an NHL team. No big deal, I’m no scout and certainly not a math pro. Sussing out Mangiapane can be regarded as a curio.

However, it IS important in one way: Math led me to Mangiapane one year early, and that is something NHL teams have to respect.

Hire better math men than me, but listen to them.

NHL teams overlook players from a specific draft year but—increasingly—double back on those players in the following year. The 2015 draft will contain a fantastic number of 1997’s but there are plenty of prospects who’ve passed through once or more who should be taken.

Brock Otten, OHL Prospects: A shift in drafting philosophy has seen an enormous rise of these players getting drafted in recent years. This is mostly because drafting a second or third year eligible player gives NHL teams a lot of flexibility in their development under the new CBA. Source

There’s a seam there, an opportunity, for NHL teams to wait on these ‘tweeners’ and then grab them if they prove themselves worthy. It’s the opposite of draft and follow, something I’ve long felt warranted a look by NHL teams and a staple of baseball drafting.

Brock Otten, OHL Prospects: North American players have either two or three years to get drafted, depending on their birth date. For those born from January 1 to September 15, they will go through three NHL drafts. For those born from September 16 to December 31, they will go through two NHL drafts. Source

And with that, here we go.

  1. C Andrew Mangiapane, Barrie (OHL) Brilliant offensive player.
  2. L Vladimir Tkachev, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) Small W, extremely skilled.
  3. R Connor Garland, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL). Small, skill player.
  4. D Sebastian Aho, Skelleftea (SHL). Undersized, puck moving defenseman.
  5. G Adin Hill, Portland Winterhawks (WHL). .921 SP and he’s 6.04.
  6. C Pius Suter, Guelph Storm (OHL). A small, older, highly skilled C, scored 72 points.
  7. L Dryden Hunt, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL). Overage scorer, talented player.
  8. L Adam Helewka, Spokane Chiefs (WHL) Smart winger who can score goals.
  9. C Alexandre Goulet, Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL). A scoring center, good at evens.
  10. G Ken Appleby, Oshawa Generals (OHL) 50GP, 2.08 .924
  11. D Vladislav Gavrikov, Yaroslavl (KHL). Two-way defender with size and skill.
  12. C Tyson Baillie, Kelowna Rockets (WHL). Small two-way center.
  13. C Luke Philp, Kootenay Ice (WHL) Skill center can play a complementary role.
  14. D Christian Jaros, Lulea (SHL). A big, stay-at-home defender, massive wingspan.
  15. G Jordan Papirny, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL). His improved play this year may get him selected.
  16. R Karson Kuhlman, Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA) Two-way agitating winger with skill.
  17. L Rihards Bukarts, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL). Very small, impressive winger.
  18. D Stephen Desrocher, Oshawa Generals (OHL). Strong two-way D.
  19. C Tim McGauley, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL). Skill C. Improved markedly during junior career.
  20. R Matt Schmalz, Sudbury Wolves (OHL). Monster winger (6.06, 210) with some skill.
  21. C Reid Gardner, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) Two-way center, improving.
  22. D Layne Viveiros, Portland Winterhawks (WHL) Puck-moving defender finally got a chance.

This is a significant list of talent and there’s no doubt several of these players will be selected. Edmonton should certainly jump in and grab some of these fine players, but there’s also ample opportunity to draft and follow.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We’re drunk with great guests today on the Lowdown, TSN 1260 beginning at 10. Laura Armstrong from The Score will talk Blue Jays at 10:20, Ryan Rishaug from TSN has an update from Oilers camp at 11 and Thomas Drance from The Athletic updates us on the Vancouver situation at 11:25. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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105 Responses to "Ready to Start"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Drai is a finalist for the Lindsay (along with Nathan M and Panarin).

  2. hunter1909 says:

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    It’s Easy!

    Just click on the link and figure it out. Alternatively be prepared to know 1- how many wins Oilers get during the 2020 playoffs 2- how many losses 3- tiebreaker combined goals of Yamamoto + McDavid

    https://oilersdeathmarch.com/playoffs-2020/

    Players keep continuity when using same names as previous Death March 2016,17,18,19,20

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Listening to the Hawks play by play guy on Inside Sports last night and he was taking about how motivated he thinks Crawford will be in the series and thinks he’ll skate today. He did mention he wasn’t at the rink and it seemed purely speculative and maybe he isn’t in the know (given quotes from Stan Bowman yesterday).

    Ugh, any absence is going to lead to so much speculation – willl need to learn to take everything with a grain of salt.

  4. defmn says:

    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Connor McDavid—Zack Kassian
    Andreas Athanasiou—Leon Draisaitl—Kailer Yamamoto

    If the top two lines remain like this through TC and into the playoffs this team is going to win some games.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    We know the KHL starts Sept 1 and training camps open in July but now Barys Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan) has delayed the start of its camp to Aug 3.

    Not liking that trend.

    I’m really hoping the European leagues can play this fall.

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    The published lines may have Benson as 5LW but I would think that he’s likely 6LW behind: Nuge, AA, Ennis, Neal, Nygard. Maybe even the 15th overall forward with Haas ahead.

    With that said, given a 5 series grind (even with travel fatigue excluded) I could see Benson working his way in to games – I have a feeling, if he gets a chance in these playoffs, he may be done with the AHL – just a pure feeling that he’s about to take a big development step.

  7. OilClog says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Published lines > Opinion Lines

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    I think the bottom of the defensive group will be the biggest personal story line through camp and the post-season itself.

    We always had the Jones vs. Russell and Benning vs. Green “debate” but there was not question as to who would be the 1st replacement on the left side and the right side.

    Now, we still have the Jones vs. Russell but the question will be what happens if/when a RD gets hurt and can’t play? Will Bouch jump in and everyone else move up (if its Larsson or Bear hurt)? Will Jones or Russell go in to 3RD?

    Also, while Jones will rejoin the team, will Holland and the coaching staff now want to take Broberg in to the secure zone as 10D? I still think there is all but no chance he would play so I think he’ll head back to Skelfeeta unless, of course, their camp gets delayed (we are starting to see delays in the KHL).

  9. deardylan says:

    Does anyone know the published lines of Chicago? How do we match up?

  10. godot10 says:

    defmn:
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Connor McDavid—Zack Kassian
    Andreas Athanasiou—Leon Draisaitl—Kailer Yamamoto

    If the top two lines remain like this through TC and into the playoffs this team is going to win some games.

    Athanasiou has to finish in that spot. With Draisaitl and Yamamoto, #ThereWillBeChances. Grade A ones.

    Ennis fired blanks. Nugent-Hopkins went supernova.

  11. Brantford Boy says:

    deardylan,

    From yeterday’s comments:

    HARPERS HAIRsays:
    July 13, 2020 at 10:41 am
    Brandon Cain (@brandonmcain) Tweeted:
    #Blackhawks lines and pairings on Day 1 of training camp:

    DeBrincat-Toews-Saad
    Nylander-Strome-Kane
    Kubalik-Dach-Caggiula
    Carpenter-Kampf-Highmore

    Keith-Boqvist
    de Haan-Murphy
    Maatta-Koekkoek
    Carlsson-Seabrook

    My take is they’re trying to spread out their defensive forwards on each line as they know we are now a threat on more than one line…

  12. yeraslob says:

    Who are the speedsters in the Jets lineup? Watching highlights of MacKinnon pylon Giordano time and time again during last year’s playoffs was beautiful.

  13. OriginalPouzar says:

    As LT just advised, Crawford not on the ice with main group on Day 2.

  14. iHockeyWpg says:

    yeraslob

    Nik Ehlers and Kyle Connor. Appleton and Roslovic are pretty quick as well.

  15. flea says:

    iHockeyWpg:
    yeraslob

    Nik Ehlers and Kyle Connor. Appleton and Roslovic are pretty quick as well.

    I think Calgary is in tough against Winnipeg. Vezina goalie, and a similarly built team to Colorado. Speed to burn and I think the CGY defence gets exposed.

  16. iHockeyWpg says:

    flea: I think Calgary is in tough against Winnipeg. Vezina goalie, and a similarly built team to Colorado. Speed to burn and I think the CGY defence gets exposed.

    Flames have no chance against the Jets. Superior goaltending tandem, better defense, and way more offence. I predict a 3-1 series win for the Jets. They may surprise in the first round as long as Hellebuyck gets hot.

  17. defmn says:

    godot10: Athanasiou has to finish in that spot.With Draisaitl and Yamamoto, #ThereWillBeChances. Grade A ones.

    Ennis fired blanks.Nugent-Hopkins went supernova.

    Yup. If he does that trade looks like a stroke of genius and this team starts to look dangerous.

    Not quite there but pretty close for a capped system.

  18. JimmyV1965 says:

    iHockeyWpg: Flames have no chance against the Jets. Superior goaltending tandem, better defense, and way more offence. I predict a 3-1 series win for the Jets. They may surprise in the first round as long as Hellebuyck gets hot.

    I’m no Flames fan, and I think the Jets win the series, but the Flames defence is better and it’s not even close. The jets have on the worst dmen groups in the post season. Hellybuck bailed them out bigtime this year.

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    As per Gregor, Caleb Jones, Philip Broberg, Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody and Ryan McLeod not on ice in main group this morning.

    Not sure if Jones is skating with the “black aces” group this afternoon as he gets his health back or if he’s still not quite ready to go. Spector did say he was scheduled to skate later yesterday but noone knows if he actually did.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    “Ryan McLeod belongs on a line with a pair of veterans who can win board battles and play a good two-way game.”

    For next season, how about Kril Maksimov and Josh Currie (please re-sign Josh)?

  21. OriginalPouzar says:

    As for the list of certain, uncertain and distant bells, i think you are referring to the actual opening night lineup, right Alan?

    I think pretty much all those players are “certain” for the phase 4 roster (except McLeod and Broberg and the extra goalies).

    If we are talking about “certain” for the opening night lineup, injuries aside of course, I wouldn’t quite have Russell in that category as I think Tippett/Playfair really do like Jones, however, the longer it takes him to get his health back, the more certain Rusty becomes.

    As we’ve been speculating for a month plus now, it really looks like Nygard and Haas are the two main healthy scratches coming in to camp – Nygard due to left wing depth and not having a real NHL practice since January and Haas because Khaira is the incumbent 4C.

  22. OriginalPouzar says:

    The numbers for Benson with Drai are intriguing – smallest of sample sizes ever, however, if Nuge or AA went down and Ennis is gelling on the 3rd line, perhaps there is a spot there – Nygard notwithstanding.

  23. OriginalPouzar says:

    As per Nugent-Bowman:

    “Caleb Jones is watching Oilers scrimmage from the stands. Broberg, McLeod, Benson and Marody weren’t part of the initial practice but are part of the scrimmage.”

    I anticipate Jones is in the last few days of his recovery and will be on the ice sometime over the next week – hopefully he isn’t too far behind.

    Also, Jack Michaels with a specific tweet about how good Mikko has looked over the first couple of days.

  24. Munny says:

    If the Flames beat the Jets, that would be a substantial upset.

    Over the past three years the Flames have struck me as a “lightning-in-a-bottle” type team, so you never know. And Rittich is certainly capable.

    But I imagine that Jets will be game-planning them much the same was as the Avs played them last year, and it is hard to believe Rittich will post better performances this year than Smith had last year. Plus the Flames will be missing Hamonic.

    Couldn’t take a Flame in a playoff draft… they’re in tough.

  25. Munny says:

    defmn: Yup. If he does that trade looks like a stroke of genius and this team starts to look dangerous.

    Not quite there but pretty close for a capped system.

    I hope that one of the things going on in TC is that Drai is learning where AA likes to unleash his one-timer.

    And I hope AA is learning to get to the crease because the puck is there a lot when Drai and Yams are on the ice.

    Because you’re right… if AA can be the piece that fits the puzzle, the Oil look lethal going forward.

  26. OriginalPouzar says:

    Caleb Jones was indeed on the ice with the second group today – picture evidence.

  27. OriginalPouzar says:

    Nugent-Bowman is killing it from the rink.

    Calvin de Haan has left due to a family emergency and its unknown when he’ll be back.

    Here is hoping everything works out OK for him and his family.

  28. yeraslob says:

    flea,

    Ah, good good. The more the merrier! If the flames were smart, they’d shelter geritol Gio from the speedsters.

  29. slopitch says:

    Interesting to see Boquist on top pair while Bouchard on 4th. Perhaps Chicago is not that deep and is rushing him. Perhaps Bouchard is more ready than we think. Will be interesting to see how Boquist does.

  30. yeraslob says:

    Munny,

    I don’t blame you. The flames have been a historically inept playoff team after ’89. Only twice past the first round in 30 years, one of them being the miracle run of ’04. Other than that, missing the playoffs half the time and first round exit participation ribbons when they did qualify.

  31. Munny says:

    After today’s practice…

    Scott Powers

    Colliton said Subban, Delia, Lankinen and Tomkins will all compete at goalie. Colliton said he wasn’t able to provide any further info on Crawford.

    ___

    Mark Lazerus

    Reading the tea leaves, so take this for what it’s worth, but Jeremy Colliton didn’t sound like a guy who’s expecting to have Corey Crawford available anytime soon.

  32. OriginalPouzar says:

    As per Nugent-Bowman:

    “Caleb Jones sure didn’t look like he was taking it easy at the end of black aces practice. Assistant coach Brian Wiseman put him through the paces. This, and reading between the lines from Tippett’s comments, makes me think there shouldn’t be much to worry about. We’ll see.”

    Also, coach said that Jones will continue to skate with the smaller group every day until he gets the green light to skate with the main group – sign-off to do so isn’t imminent but will come.

  33. OriginalPouzar says:

    Munny:
    After today’s practice…

    Scott Powers

    Colliton said Subban, Delia, Lankinen and Tomkins will all compete at goalie. Colliton said he wasn’t able to provide any further info on Crawford.

    ___

    Mark Lazerus

    Reading the tea leaves, so take this for what it’s worth, but Jeremy Colliton didn’t sound like a guy who’s expecting to have Corey Crawford available anytime soon.

    The comments from Stan Bowman (via The Athletic) yesterday had the same vibe.

  34. Munny says:

    The Crawfords did give birth in mid-April… maybe that has something to do with things, dunno.

  35. N64 says:

    Well at least the NBA is enforcing their bubble. One player left the official perimeter to pick up his own take out delivery (they have people that do that for them). Another missed the part about 2 tests before leaving your room to join the bubble. Both get 10 extra days of quarantine.

  36. OriginalPouzar says:

    deardylan:
    Does anyone know the published lines of Chicago? How do we match up?

    This was yesterday (day 1):

    DeBrincat-Toews-Saad
    Nylander-Strome-Kane
    Kubalik-Dach-Caggiula
    Carpenter-Kampf-Highmore

    Keith-Boqvist
    de Haan-Murphy
    Maatta-Koekkoek
    Carlsson-Seabrook

  37. flyfish1168 says:

    Munny:
    If the Flames beat the Jets, that would be a substantial upset.

    Over the past three years the Flames have struck me as a “lightning-in-a-bottle” type team, so you never know. And Rittich is certainly capable.

    But I imagine that Jets will be game-planning them much the same was as the Avs played them last year, and it is hard to believe Rittich will post better performances this year than Smith had last year.Plus the Flames will be missing Hamonic.

    Couldn’t take a Flame in a playoff draft… they’re in tough.

    We all no johny yahoo and sean mohands are soft in the playoffs.

  38. JimmyV1965 says:

    slopitch:
    Interesting to see Boquist on top pair while Bouchard on 4th. Perhaps Chicago is not that deep and is rushing him. Perhaps Bouchard is more ready than we think. Will be interesting to see how Boquist does.

    The only person who thinks Bosquist should be on the first pair is HH.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    As per Gregor, Oilers exhibition game will be July 28 vs the flames.

  40. Munny says:

    Four areas where the Hawks ranked 31st (last) in the League:

    Inside slot shots against — 7.8/gm

    Slot passes against — 14.7/gm

    Cycle chances against — 9.6/gm

    Expected Goals Against — 3.32/gm

    –All numbers courtesy of Sport LogIQ–

    Would be nice to see rush chances on that list too, but it’s a nice little list regardless.

  41. flyfish1168 says:

    iHockeyWpg: Flames have no chance against the Jets. Superior goaltending tandem, better defense, and way more offence. I predict a 3-1 series win for the Jets. They may surprise in the first round as long as Hellebuyck gets hot.

    If they are out in the 1st round they have a chance at 1st over pick in a draw with the other 8 teams

  42. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar: DeBrincat-Toews-Saad
    Nylander-Strome-Kane

    If the plan is to line match PvP, this places Kane up against AA and KBomb as the most likely/common matchups.

    OTOH, Toews will have to deal the 97’s afterburners—which he can’t do—but will probably have Keith out there to help.

  43. Eh Team says:

    OriginalPouzar: As per Gregor, Oilers exhibition game will be July 28 vs the flames.

    Hopefully, McDavid, Drai and the other front line Oilers are not going to play in this game. Last thing you need is an injury in a meaningless game.

  44. Brantford Boy says:

    Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames will be playing an exhibition game on July 28th… sure hope Kassian has his head in the game…

  45. Ribs says:

    Edmonton vs. Calgary right before playoffs in a nothing game seems pretty reckless. It could be a complete gongshow.

  46. Rickety Cricket says:

    I love the lines! I believe in AA!

    I am pumped for summer hockey. Oilers winning the cup should be good for the infection rate of Edmonton.

    I love you LT. Thanks for posting every day.

    RNH is going to be the Conn Smythe winner. Bookjie it.

  47. OriginalPouzar says:

    because, as LT mentioned this morning on the show, he’s become a talked about player among Oiler fans, Canucks signed Jack Rathborne to his 3-year ELC – he’ll join the team for phase 3 and burn the first year of his ELC.

  48. Harpers Hair says:

    Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) Tweeted:
    Jack Rathbone’s three-year deal will burn the 2019-20 season. So it runs through the 2021-22 season.

    Hearing it will include $850k in Schedule A bonuses, no Schedule Bs.

    Big signing for the #Canucks. Rathbone will have a real shot at cracking their lineup next year.

  49. godot10 says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) Tweeted:
    Jack Rathbone’s three-year deal will burn the 2019-20 season. So it runs through the 2021-22 season.

    Hearing it will include $850k in Schedule A bonuses, no Schedule Bs.

    Big signing for the #Canucks. Rathbone will have a real shot at cracking their lineup next year.

    Two rookie D starting on a team interested in contending? Duelling narratives. Are you a contender or a you a pretender breaking in two rookie D?

  50. Harpers Hair says:

    godot10: Two rookie D starting on a team interested in contending?Duelling narratives.Are you a contender or a you a pretender breaking in two rookie D?

    Two words.

    Hughes and Makar.

    As I’ve often said, the good ones show up early.

  51. godot10 says:

    Harpers Hair: Two words.

    Hughes and Makar.

    As I’ve often said, the good ones show up early.

    Hughes and Makar don’t play on the same team.

    Not many contending teams are able to break in two rookie D simultaneously.

  52. Durag says:

    Wasn’t Boner Ratherty already under contract??

  53. defmn says:

    godot10: Hughes and Makar don’t play on the same team.

    Not many contending teams are able to break in two rookie D simultaneously.

    Jones and Bear? With Bouchard close behind. 😉

  54. Rickety Cricket says:

    Harpers Hair: Two words.

    Hughes and Makar.

    As I’ve often said, the good ones show up early.

    Brilliant as always! You should start your own blog!

  55. Munny says:

    Harpers Hair: As I’ve often said, the good ones show up early.

    This is primarily a function of Harvard not playing this Autumn.

    If Rathbone had showed up early, he would have had a more substantial USHL career and been drafted ahead of the 4th round.

    The Nucks are simply buying depth and an earlier start to Basil Rathbone’s pro career by burning an ELC year.

  56. JimmyV1965 says:

    Eh Team: Hopefully, McDavid, Drai and the other front line Oilers are not going to play in this game.Last thing you need is an injury in a meaningless game.

    There are 11 other teams in the bubble. Why get two teams together with so much bad blood between them? Save it for the regular season or playoffs. It’s absolutely needless IMO. The real danger is some cheap slew foot because the players hate each other.

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    iHockeyWpg: Flames have no chance against the Jets. Superior goaltending tandem, better defense, and way more offence. I predict a 3-1 series win for the Jets. They may surprise in the first round as long as Hellebuyck gets hot.

    I’m not sure about the better defence in aggregate – depends on if Gio rebounds and if the Pionk explosion continues and wasn’t a mere heater.

  58. Harpers Hair says:

    Fellow Harvard grads Adam Fox and John Marino were picked in the third and sixth rounds respectively.

    Both made a significant impact in their rookie seasons.

    I’ve said before that there is a market inefficiency in NHL teams not ranking these players much higher.

    That may have changed at last years draft with the run on college bound players.

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    Munny:
    If the Flames beat the Jets, that would be a substantial upset.

    Over the past three years the Flames have struck me as a “lightning-in-a-bottle” type team, so you never know. And Rittich is certainly capable.

    But I imagine that Jets will be game-planning them much the same was as the Avs played them last year, and it is hard to believe Rittich will post better performances this year than Smith had last year.Plus the Flames will be missing Hamonic.

    Couldn’t take a Flame in a playoff draft… they’re in tough.

    I want nothing more than the flames and nucks out ASAP (as long as neither wins lottery 2) and I do think the Jets are the better team.

    The flames point total on the season over-represents the team’s play as shown by their -5 goal differential (as compared to the Jets plus 13).

    Calgary has 25 regulation wins, good for 11th in the Western Conference (Jets had 30).

  60. Munny says:

    Harpers Hair,

    You’re naming players that were drafted before playing for Harvard. Their draft position is a reflection of what they did in high school not college.

    Edit:

    By the way, Marino was drafted out of the USPHL, in 2015. The USPHL is considered to be Tier III Junior by USA Hockey themselves, that league’s sanctioning body. If there truly are any existing draft inefficiencies here, they seem quite sussed out by the Oilers at least. And probably by many more teams.

  61. OriginalPouzar says:

    slopitch:
    Interesting to see Boquist on top pair while Bouchard on 4th. Perhaps Chicago is not that deep and is rushing him. Perhaps Bouchard is more ready than we think. Will be interesting to see how Boquist does.

    I think this is primarily a function of depth differences on both teams.

    Boquist as 9th on TOI/G among Hawks d-men that played 20 games.

    He played 24% of his time against elites which was 8th among d-men on the team.

    He played 43% of his time against Gritensity.

  62. pts2pndr says:

    defmn:
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Connor McDavid—Zack Kassian
    Andreas Athanasiou—Leon Draisaitl—Kailer Yamamoto

    If the top two lines remain like this through TC and into the playoffs this team is going to win some games.

    I like your positive attitude however, the logic of breaking up, arguably one of the better lines in hockey to hopefully create two scoring lines, given that McDavid is the premium player of the group, seems illogical. Maybe the best centre is actually Draisaitl! It would seem to me that the more logical way to proceed would be to find another left winger for McDavid and keep the Draisatl line intact!

  63. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Hoping you still have the page active…

    How much of that was with Keith, and regardless of the TOI, did Keith get fed the soft parade too, when they were together?

  64. pts2pndr says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Fellow Harvard grads Adam Fox and John Marino were picked in the third and sixth rounds respectively.

    Both made a significant impact in their rookie seasons.

    I’ve said before that there is a market inefficiency in NHL teams not ranking these players much higher.

    That may have changed at last years draft with the run on college bound players.

    I think you may be looking at this incorrectly. Players that go on to college get much more time at practice and skill development. They also have time to spend on physical and strength conditioning. The bottom line as I see it is that the current draft of seventeen year olds is in many cases a crap shoot!

  65. Munny says:

    pts2pndr: I like your positive attitude however, the logic of breaking up, arguably one of the better lines in hockey tohopefully create two scoring lines, given that McDavid is the premium player of the group, seems illogical. Maybe the best centre is actually Draisaitl! It would seem to me that the more logical way to proceed would be to find another left winger for McDavid and keep the Draisatl line intact!

    Balance methinks. Plus as the coach, you already know the old way works. Let’s see if this way works too. Takes nothing to go back if things go sideways.

    LT has been noting the quality chances given back when 97 is on the ice. Part of the coach’s hopes here, I think, is that Nuge can help stem the bleeding… better than AA or Ennis could slotted there.

  66. godot10 says:

    JimmyV1965: There are 11 other teams in the bubble.Why get two teams together with so much bad blood between them? Save it for the regular season or playoffs. It’s absolutely needless IMO. The real danger is some cheap slew foot because the players hate each other.

    It looks like most of the exhibition games are rivalry games. They are not picking on Edmonton.
    They want TV ratings for the exhbition games.

    Edmonton/Calgary
    Montreal/Toronto
    Pittsburgh/Philly
    Tampa/Florida
    St.Louis/Chicago
    Islanders/Rangers

    Vancouver/Winnipeg
    Colorado/Minnesota
    Carolina/Washington
    Nashville/Dallas
    Boston/Columbus
    Vegas/Arizona

  67. pts2pndr says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) Tweeted:
    Jack Rathbone’s three-year deal will burn the 2019-20 season. So it runs through the 2021-22 season.

    Hearing it will include $850k in Schedule A bonuses, no Schedule Bs.

    Big signing for the #Canucks. Rathbone will have a real shot at cracking their lineup next year.

    Canucks playing for the first overall draft choice? ?

  68. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar: I’m not sure about the better defence in aggregate – depends on if Gio rebounds and if the Pionk explosion continues and wasn’t a mere heater.

    I think OP has it surrounded. This should be a great matchup. Winnipeg has had little success in post season. I will be cheering for the Jets!

  69. pts2pndr says:

    Rickety Cricket: Brilliant as always! You should start your own blog!

    Unless they are the great Braggart Rafarty the late bloomer! You state many things as fact some that contradict one another based on the day you post.

  70. defmn says:

    pts2pndr: I like your positive attitude however, the logic of breaking up, arguably one of the better lines in hockey tohopefully create two scoring lines, given that McDavid is the premium player of the group, seems illogical. Maybe the best centre is actually Draisaitl! It would seem to me that the more logical way to proceed would be to find another left winger for McDavid and keep the Draisatl line intact!

    This is what I kept reading about McDavid and Draisaitl playing together the last couple of years. They couldn’t be broken up because they were too good together.

    If it doesn’t work it doesn’t work and nothing lost. Lines get changed in game all the time. But if it does work – and it looks good on paper since it is a nice mix of speed, skill and a little defensive responsibility just in case the other team gets hold of the puck. 😉

    Finding another LW for McDavid sounds good but I think just about everybody has been tried. AA was acquired to play a top 6 role imo and that is what they are going to try.

  71. Reja says:

    pts2pndr: I think OP has it surrounded. This should be a great matchup. Winnipeg has had little success in post season. I will be cheering for the Jets!

    Anyone can win in a short series especially starting from a standstill.

  72. OriginalPouzar says:

    Munny: If the plan is to line match PvP, this places Kane up against AA and KBomb as the most likely/common matchups.

    OTOH, Toews will have to deal the 97’s afterburners—which he can’t do—but will probably have Keith out there to help.

    I am quite looking forward to Coach T. and Gully getting one of the Oilers top two lines out against Kubalik/Dach/Caggiula.

  73. OriginalPouzar says:

    Eh Team: Hopefully, McDavid, Drai and the other front line Oilers are not going to play in this game.Last thing you need is an injury in a meaningless game.

    I’m quite confident that it will darn close to the Game 1 lineup, probably the exact lineup. Its their one and only exhibition game – its important.

  74. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ribs:
    Edmonton vs. Calgary right before playoffs in a nothing game seems pretty reckless. It could be a complete gongshow.

    Given its the one and only exhibition game for each team, I think both coaches and the players will be looking to do what they need to do to get prepared for the real games. I do think it will be physical and intense but i don’t think anyone will be looking to do anything stupid on the eve of the playoffs.

  75. OriginalPouzar says:

    Harpers Hair: Two words.

    Hughes and Makar.

    As I’ve often said, the good ones show up early.

    So is Rathborne “showing up early” because he’s older than Bouchard who you say is dwindling away???

  76. OriginalPouzar says:

    Munny: This is primarily a function of Harvard not playing this Autumn.

    If Rathbone had showed up early, he would have had a more substantial USHL career and been drafted ahead of the 4th round.

    The Nucks are simply buying depth and an earlier start to Basil Rathbone’s pro career by burning an ELC year.

    As I mentioned a bit ago when the Ivy League announced it wasn’t playing, I wonder what Phil Kemp does.

  77. OriginalPouzar says:

    Munny:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Hoping you still have the page active…

    How much of that was with Keith, and regardless of the TOI, did Keith get fed the soft parade too, when they were together?

    380 out of Boquist’s 500 minutes were with Keith.

    Keith played 1/3 of his minutes against each category, elite, mid, gritensity.

    I anticipate most of the soft-parade minutes were with Keith but I don’t know who to check that.

  78. JimmyV1965 says:

    godot10: It looks like most of the exhibition games are rivalry games.They are not picking on Edmonton.
    They want TV ratings for the exhbition games.

    Edmonton/Calgary
    Montreal/Toronto
    Pittsburgh/Philly
    Tampa/Florida
    St.Louis/Chicago
    Islanders/Rangers

    Vancouver/Winnipeg
    Colorado/Minnesota
    Carolina/Washington
    Nashville/Dallas
    Boston/Columbus
    Vegas/Arizona

    I don’t think they’re picking on Edmonton at all. I agree. I think they’re trying to create rivalry games to boost TV ratings. And I don’t think it will actually happen. The diehards like us will watch any game. The casual viewer will wait until the real games either way. And if McDavid gets slew foot and hurt, everyone will be looking at the league and saying WTF.

  79. Harpers Hair says:

    pts2pndr: I think you may be looking at this incorrectly. Players that go on to college get much more time at practice and skill development. They also have time to spend on physical and strength conditioning. The bottom line as I see it is that the current draft of seventeen year olds is in many cases a crap shoot!

    Agree completely. And many players have committed to an NCAA career path early on.

    Judd Brackett has exploited that in a significant way so I expect Minnesota will now do the same.

  80. pts2pndr says:

    defmn: This is what I kept reading about McDavid and Draisaitl playing together the last couple of years. They couldn’t be broken up because they were too good together.

    If it doesn’t work it doesn’t work and nothing lost. Lines get changed in game all the time. But if it does work – and it looks good on paper since it is a nice mix of speed, skill and a little defensive responsibility just in case the other team gets hold of the puck.?

    Finding another LW for McDavid sounds good but I think just about everybody has been tried. AA was acquired to play a top 6 role imo and that is what they are going to try.

    This is correct however Atanasiou has not been given ample time to see if he is a fit. He has the size, foot speed and scoring to indicate he should be a good fit. What I see is breaking up what works to have two lines that are uncertain will work. The simple adage of don’t fix what isn’t broken holds true to this. Given limited time we are trying something new without assuring what the line had has the time to get back in sync. I do trust this coaching staff so I believe they will get it correct. This just seems to defy logic in my opinion.

  81. pts2pndr says:

    Reja: Anyone can win in a short series especially starting from a standstill.

    Absolutely

  82. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965: I don’t think they’re picking on Edmonton at all. I agree. I think they’re trying to create rivalry games to boost TV ratings. And I don’t think it will actually happen.The diehards like us will watch any game. The casual viewer will wait until the real games either way.And if McDavid gets slew foot and hurt, everyone will be looking at the league and saying WTF.

    I think its partially also pratical logistics.

    I mean, the first exhibition game day has Toronto/Montreal and Edmonton/Calgary.

    Not a ton of travel or logistics involved in the Habs getting settled in Toronto and the flames in Edmonton.

    Makes more sense for Edmonton/Calgary to play right away than, say, Chicago and Vegas.

  83. OriginalPouzar says:

    pts2pndr: This is correct however Atanasiou has not been given ample time to see if he is a fit. He has the size, foot speed and scoring to indicate he should be a good fit. What I see is breaking up what works to have two lines that are uncertain will work. The simple adage of don’t fix what isn’t broken holds true to this. Given limited time we are trying something new without assuring what the line had has the time to get back in sync. I do trust this coaching staff so I believe they will get it correct. This just seems to defy logic in my opinion.

    I think an argument can be made that it was kind of broken – the McDavid line was broken with a goal for percentage of less than 52%, negative possession numbers and negative relative possession numbers.

    I think Coach’s T and G are banking on the chemistry being between Drai and Kailer (given how much Drai talks about loving playing with Kailer) and, if its not working, putting Nuge back there is a clear option. If anyone, I’m not worried about Nuge taking time to find his groove back with those two (if it comes to that).

    I’m not saying I disagree with you and I’m a bit surprised (and was originally disappointed) that its looking like this but nothing is permanent and I don’t think “re-finding the chemistry” would take long if a switch back is required.

  84. OriginalPouzar says:

    While I’m happy to hear the Andrew Shaw is feeling better and getting healthy I’m also happy that he won’t be playing in this series – he’s the type of guy that can “hurt you” in a series.

  85. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar: I anticipate most of the soft-parade minutes were with Keith

    That’s a reasonable assumption given the data. Thank you.

  86. N64 says:

    Whoa. Early on I figured only the leverage of the networks in true out negotiations would keep a hub in Canada.

    Did not see it coming (nor did Doug Ford) but NBC has applied their leverage to be the producer of the Toronto feed.

    That’s right our Toronto broadcast media do get to produce, but only from Edmonton. NBC produces Toronto and Sportsnet produces Edmonton.

    Both get to produce the last 2 rounds in Edmonton, but before that the screen caps and audio get added by the network you tune into.

    So Edmonton’s the production centre of Canada’s hockeybroadcasting for months.

    LT get Lansky on again to talk about the world feeds and how this happened. There’s a huge story there and Ford sounds blindsided.

    Of course we’re all incredibly sympathetic here knowing what it’s like to be the afterthought The streets of Edmonton are flowing with tears for our dear friend Steve Simmons:

    https://torontosun.com/sports/hockey/nhl/simmons-nhl-sold-us-out-canadian-broadcast-worker-says-government-sold-us-out

    Oh. The humanity.

  87. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    Munny: Balance methinks.Plus as the coach, you already know the old way works.Let’s see if this way works too.Takes nothing to go back if things go sideways.

    LT has been noting the quality chances given back when 97 is on the ice.Part of the coach’s hopes here, I think, is that Nuge can help stem the bleeding… better than AA or Ennis could slotted there.

    Meagrees

  88. Lowetide says:

    N64: Broadcast rights owners have their own people. That’s a quality control issue. You don’t hire a drummer at the border to be Charlie Watts, you bring Charlie Watts over the border.

  89. hunter1909 says:

    HUNTER1909 DEATH MARCH™ RETURNS! PLAYOFFS!! HUNTER1909 DEATH MARCH™ RETURNS! PLAYOFFS!!

    Simply Enter the contest by going here:

    https://oilersdeathmarch.com/playoffs-2020/

    Returning players are advised to keep hold of their original Death March™ names for continuity purposes.

    Thank you for your cooperation Thank you for your cooperation Thank you for your cooperation

  90. N64 says:

    Lowetide:
    N64: Broadcast rights owners have their own people. That’s a quality control issue. You don’t hire a drummer at the border to be Charlie Watts, you bring Charlie Watts over the border.

    Hi, A whole bunch of things came together here in a surprising way.

    NHL is going with a single productoon feed until the conference finals.

    Independent of whether the hubs were split or on one country both networks needed and got one of those exclusives.

    For the rounds before conference final itI could have been NBC with the
    Edmonton exclusive and Sportsnet in Toronto. The loud noises in Toronto are because the Sportsnet opportunities are in Edmonton.. Wonder what Steve is hearing about Sportsnet getting Edmonton not Toronto.

    Lansky has talked to you and on his podcast about world feeds. Very interesting that the one produced by Sportsnet will be here. When the Toronto hub is done both broadcasters will be here to produce seperate feeds for the conference and League finals.

    Strange Days

  91. Lowetide says:

    N64: Hi,a whole bunch of things came together here:

    NHL is going witha single productoon feed until the conference finals.

    Independent of whether the hubs were split or on one country both networks needed and got one of those exclusives.

    For the rounds before conference final itI could have been NBC with theEdmonton exclusive and Sportsnet in Toronto. The loud noises in Toronto are because the Sportsnet opportunities are in Edmonton.. Wonder what Steve is hearing about Sportsnet getting Edmonton not Toronto.

    Lansky has talked to you and on his podcast about world feeds. Very interesting that the one produced by Sportsnet will be here. When the Toronto hub is done both broadcasters will be here to produce seperate feeds for the conference and League finals.

    Ah. I understand. I will ask.

  92. N64 says:

    Lowetide: Ah. I understand. I will ask.

    Yeah. Not often that Edmonton gets Toronto’s lunch. Definitely expected whoever produces to bring their own staff . But Sportsnet has presence East and West, so their assignment may have local impacts. Toronto lost the last 2 rounds and now they’re lost the rest of the Sportsnet gig to Edmonton. Apparently the folks Simmons is talking to would have benefited if Sportsnet had Toronto instead of Edmonton.

  93. maudite says:

    Weird question and likely too late on this thread (seeing a stroke on Chicago kind of sparked whim)

    Who do you think best brothers/family (dad and sons) of all time might be?

    Measured as average between them all…

    Still Gretzkys?
    Howes?
    Hulls?

    Who wind

    Koivus vs sutters?

    Modern actives..staals or stromes?

  94. ArmchairGM says:

    maudite: Modern actives..staals or stromes?

    Jones’.

  95. OriginalPouzar says:

    I anticipate his turning down the KHL is because it precludes an NHL return during the term of that KHL contract. I anticipate he signs back in Karpat at some point with the standard NHL out clause.

    Aivis Kalniņš
    @A_Kalnins
    NEW: Jesse Puljujarvi Has No Interest In Playing In The KHL

    ”Eventually, there will be some clarity in regards to him but not right now

    ”https://twitter.com/A_Kalnins/status/1283368418301939714

  96. maudite says:

    ArmchairGM,

    If we are going for potential tkachuks be in running with jones…?

  97. ArmchairGM says:

    maudite:
    ArmchairGM,

    If we are going for potential tkachuks be in running with jones…?

    Never heard of ’em.

  98. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    maudite,

    The Richard brothers were pretty good at le hockey back in the day too.

  99. hunter1909 says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    maudite,

    The Richard brothers were pretty good at le hockey back in the day too.

    Counting Cups won when each was captain of their respective teams would be a fair indication of anything you care to argue.

    Pocket Rocket scored a huge backbreaking tying goal in the 1971 Cup final game 7, if memory/YouTube serves. Followed by the winner LOL not bad for an old dude.

    Jean Beliveau(Montreal Canadiens Dynasty answer to Leon Draisaitl) was captain in 1971, but pre-Oilers and then Bruin fan Lowetide particularly likes to relive the 1971 NHL season’s Cup campaign.

  100. N64 says:

    maudite:
    Weird questionand likely too late on this thread (seeing a stroke on Chicago kind of sparked whim)

    Who do you think best brothers/family (dad and sons)of all time might be?

    Measured as average between them all…

    Still Gretzkys?
    Howes?
    Hulls?

    Who wind

    Koivus vs sutters?

    Modern actives..staals or stromes?

    ~ Reinhart ~

  101. BONE207 says:

    N64:
    Whoa. Early on I figured only the leverage of the networks in true out negotiations would keep a hub in Canada.

    Did not see it coming (nor did Doug Ford) but NBC has applied their leverage to be the producer of the Toronto feed.

    That’s right our Toronto broadcast media do get to produce, but only fromEdmonton. NBC produces Toronto and Sportsnet produces Edmonton.

    Both get to produce the last 2 rounds in Edmonton, but before that the screen caps and audio get added by the network you tune into.

    So Edmonton’s the production centre of Canada’s hockeybroadcasting for months.

    LT get Lansky on again to talk about the world feeds and how this happened. There’s a huge story there and Ford sounds blindsided.

    Of course we’re all incredibly sympathetic here knowing what it’s like to be the afterthought The streets of Edmonton are flowing with tears for our dear friend Steve Simmons:

    https://torontosun.com/sports/hockey/nhl/simmons-nhl-sold-us-out-canadian-broadcast-worker-says-government-sold-us-out

    Oh. The humanity.

    This is most likely the reason for the postponement of the announcement last weekend for the hub cities. $$$

  102. N64 says:

    BONE207: This is most likely the reason for the postponement of the announcement last weekend for the hub cities. $$$

    Dreger confirmed that the outstanding issue with the feds has been settled. It was about the bubble mod rules including NHL contractors. NBC would be one part of that group.

  103. godot10 says:

    Before HH gets here and complains, can someone mention the Hughes family! -).

  104. maudite says:

    ArmchairGM: Never heard of ’em.

    If you add dad…as much as I hate to say it they likely end up high on list.

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